The World Cup should be an opportunity to emphasize that all persons, soccer players included, have worth because of their human dignity and not because of their physical condition, a Chilean bishop has said.

May the World Cup be "an opportunity to keep in mind that all people, including soccer players, have worth because of their human dignity and not because of their physical condition or the value of their passes," Bishop Ignacio Ducasse Medina of Valdivia said in an article at the website of the Chilean bishops' conference.

"And, that true success in life is gained through collective efforts and is not exempt from suffering. Life is not decided by penalty kicks."

Bishop Ducasse underscored the values instilled by sports, as well as the economic benefits that are reaped by those involved in organizing sporting events.

"In soccer we learn to work as team, to promote respect and that each one can deploy his best talents. How many times has soccer been able to silence machine guns and overcome political, economic, linguistic and cultural barriers!"

"Many people think that family outings to watch a soccer game are a thing of the past," he noted. "They say the violence has chased families away from stadiums and that technology has brought sporting events into the comfort of our homes."

Despite this, Bishop Ducasse said, "the people still come, and the industries that benefit from soccer are many, from the industry of the global mega-sponsors, to the massive television networks, to the food vendors and the parking lot attendants."

He cautioned against selfishness, saying, that it can " soil even the healthiest and noblest of dreams ... in sports as well," lamenting that "many young and talented players end up entangled in the lucrative web of insider trading and recruiting."

So far in the tournament, Chile has played Australia, being them 3-1, and won against Spain 2-0. They will play the Netherlands June 23.

The U.S. beat Ghana 2-1 on June 16, and is scheduled to play Portugal June 22.

On June 19, Colombia beat Ivory Coast 2-1, and England play Uruguay, followed by Japan v. Greece.